Our Story


What do you get when God brings together two Catholics, three agnostics, one Jew, one New-Ager, one materialist, and four evangelicals? The perfect combination for a new church, of course!

In April 1993, a group of couples--with backgrounds described above--began meeting to examine the claims of Jesus Christ. God touched each life in that group in a very personal way, and within six months, everyone had committed their life to Christ.

The families of the group members began hanging out together beyond the weekly Bible study resulting in friendships that merged into a strong community. This strong sense of community has become one of the pillars characterizing South Shore. We call it “doing life together.”

One evening, a member asked the question, "Are we a church?" The answer was, "Of course not. We're just a small group." But a seed was planted, and some of the group members began to pray about that question. After months of seeking God's direction, it became quite clear that God was at work through His Spirit, His Word, and circumstances, all pointing to the formation of a new church family. 

From its inception, God determined that South Shore Community Church would be a body that reached out with the love of Christ to those who did not normally "do church." For two months, South Shore met in a private home on Wednesday nights for worship but quickly outgrew this location.


South Shore Community Church held its first Sunday service in February 1994 at Pine View School for the Gifted in south Sarasota. During these early years, growth was steady at Pine View, creating a solid group of believers committed to the mission of helping people find and follow Jesus Christ. As a result of meeting in a school theater, South Shore developed a reputation for being a different style of church.

The five year agreement with Pine View came to a close and South Shore began to look for a new church home.


Churches meeting in schools and having Saturday night services are now considered common for new church starts. But in May of 1999, South Shore Community Church took a bold step by moving its worship service to Saturday nights at the First Church of the Nazarene on Fruitville Road.

With much prayer and commitment, the family of South Shore embraced this change. The Saturday night format opened up unique opportunities to reach people in unexpected ways and appealed to many people in the community who were seeking something different.


Another location change happened in October of 2004 when we moved to Sarasota Alliance Church east of I-75 on Bee Ridge Road. Continuing with the Saturday night format, the church easily moved into its new setting. During this season, South Shore tried many new adventures in helping people find and follow Jesus Christ through events like Easter at Twin Lakes Park and new ministry programs like Kidz Own Clubhouse.


On March 16, 2008, one of the most significant moves in South Shore’s history occurred when Gateway Community Church on Tuttle Avenue merged with South Shore Community Church creating a second campus and a Sunday morning venue. Through the remainder of 2008, South Shore had two options, Saturday nights at the Alliance location and Sundays at the Tuttle location.


2009 brought new possibilities and God’s provision as South Shore moved to one location on Tuttle Avenue. With the success of the Commission campaign, South Shore became a debt free church and is committed to remaining debt free. We consider ourselves uniquely positioned as a "local church with a heart for the community.”


South Shore Community Church exists to Be in community while we Love and Reach our surrounding neighborhood for Christ. Throughout our journey, God has been faithful to us and we continue to seek to be faithful to Him as together, we help people find and follow Jesus Christ.